Post Offices could take your fingerprints

By Karl Flinders | Government will ask businesses to bid to become centres to collect biometric data for ID cards, in the latest move in its plan to create a biometric database of the population.


Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is today expected to call on businesses to help the government run booths where people could give their fingerprints.

The Post Office is being tipped to be one of the companies that could provide this service.

A Post Office spokesman said, “The Post Office is very pleased to have the opportunity to explore new work from the Home Office as any new business we can get helps strengthen and secure the future of the Post Office network.”

Prime Minister Gordon Brown plans to introduce ID cards at a cost of £5.4bn over 10 years. The national identity card scheme will be launched this month with ID cards issued to foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area.

The project has been criticisedby campaigners and MPs following recent losses of personal data from government departments.

Shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve slammed the “creeping growth of a surveillance society” at the Conservative Party conference.

He said the public was “fed up with the creeping growth of a surveillance society, which intrudes into their private lives and loses their personal data”.

Grieve said the government had “created the worst of all worlds”. It had increased surveillance while levels of crime had heightened. “We’re less free. We’re less safe,” he claimed.